How Social Media Week Lagos Is Helping To Foster A More Inclusive Africa

In February 2015, Nigeria’s commercial capital and one of Africa’s most vibrant cities will host the third edition of Social Media Week Lagos (SMW Lagos). As part of the larger Social Media Week conference, with twenty-two host cities around the world, SMW Lagos made its debut in 2013 as the first African city to host the international forum, and garnered tremendous success. Under the visionary leadership of Obi Asika, chairman of Social Medial Week Lagos and founder of Dragon Africa, as well as Ngozi Odita, founder of the media and production outfit, Afrika21 and Society HAE, SMW Lagos has played a pivotal role in driving discussions on the impact of Social Media on a continent with one of the fastest growing mobile technology markets in the world. To date, the conference has attracted thousands of visitors, as well as high profile thought leaders and experts from Nigeria, the continent and around the world; this year will be no exception. The theme for this year’s edition of SMW Lagos is Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of a Connected Africa, and it seeks to actively engage audiences in lessons learned on the use of mobile technology on the continent, as well as new innovations in the use of mobile technology in addressing a range of local problems.


In 2014, SMW Lagos launched mission-driven 55Forward, an initiative with the goal of facilitating the enhanced participation of cross-industry leaders from each of the continent’s fifty-five countries. From Côte d’Ivoire to Madagascar, seventeen ambassadors were selected to highlight their work and help share ideas and information with their peers. The inaugural cohort of ambassadors included Kenya’s Philip Ogola of TimeOut Media, Senegal’s Karima Grant, executive director of ImagiNation Afrika and Zambia’s Mazuba Kapambwe, co-founder of The Fest Gurus. In recognition of the power that lies in a more connected continent and in the spirit of Social Media Week’s global theme, SMW Lagos is bringing back 55Forward in 2015, and is inviting innovators from other African countries to discuss their work in community engagement and social innovation. SMW Lagos is looking for entrepreneurial social media changers across the continent who are actively using the web and mobile technology to do amazing things to change their environment, and who are willing to take the risks necessary to achieve success.

Who is a 55Forward ambassador?

55Forward ambassadors are: visionaries and leaders in their fields, innovators with ideas that set them apart and are change makers with stories and case studies to share. And if your application is approved but can’t make it to the conference in person, SMW Lagos also offers virtual participation.

The program is currently accepting applications and will love to hear your story!  For more information and to submit an application, visit: #55Forward

Be in the know! Follow SMW Lagos on twitter @SMWLagos

Image: SMWLagos